Faith Formation Spotlight: JOURNEY

JOURNEY, the Faith Formation offering for grades 6 and 7, was introduced this year under a new bi-weekly schedule and a new format, based on the published Diocesan standards.  Sessions met, generally, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from 3:30-5:30 pm in the PLC. The first 15 minutes, our Young Disciples enjoyed a snack and social time allowing them to play some games and catch up with friends.

We prepared for the JOURNEY each week with a NAVIGATION – how we navigate our faith and the teachings of the Church.  We learned some Fun Facts about the Church.  A Question of the Day submitted by one of the Young Disciples was answered, ranging from the patron saint of art to the Church’s stance on divorce, swearing, homosexuality, and gay marriage. In Where in the World, we ventured to a new place each session, learning about places where Jesus walked: why they were important, what happened there, what they may have looked like then, and what they are like now. We JOURNEYed to Samaria, Capernaum, Cana, Mount of Beatitude, Zebulun and Naphtali, the Judean Desert, Emmaus, and Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa. 

In an effort to open up the Young Disciples’ exposure to our great saints, we learned about a lesser-known Saint of the Day; ones which they might consider for their Confirmation Saint in the future. Our NAVIGATION also included Breaking Open the Word in which we delved more deeply into Scripture, focusing on a specific meaning to be found that we possibly hadn’t considered before. 

The main topic of the day was introduced in our PILGRIMAGE. This year we focused on the Sacraments, Catholic Social Teaching, Stations of the Cross, and Marian Apparitions.  Our PILGRIMAGE included LANDMARKS, knowledge and perspective-building to see where we are each stop along the way, as well as ORIENTEERING, small group discussions to process and test out what we have learned. 

At the end of each JOURNEY, our LANDING focused on METANOIA and CHALLENGE.  What is the ‘so what?’ of everything we talked about that day?  How can we change or grow in our faith from what we have discussed?  What do I need to do now to explore this topic more or to put it into practice? At the beginning of the year, we challenged each JOURNEY family to be VIRTUS trained and help at two sessions.  Parents rose to the challenge, with enough helpers at each session to ensure we met our Protecting God’s Children standards. Partnering with parents and guardians who are the primary teachers of the faith to their children is such a privilege.

Kimberly Patterson
Pastoral Associate for Young Disciples Ministry
(616) 676-9111 ext 124